20 Aug 2007

The Cosmos: A Beginner's Guide blasts off on BBC TWO

Adam Hart-Davies at SETI

Adam Hart-Davies at SETI

The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide - a fully-funded Open University production for BBC TWO - tackles the big questions about the Solar System, space and the Universe in general: How were they made? Are we alone? What’s the furthest thing we can see? Is there another Earth somewhere?

The series began on Tuesday August 7 at 7.30pm and will continue until Tuesday September 11.

Presented by Adam-Hart-Davis, with reports from geologist and planetary scientist Dr Janet Sumner of The Open University, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, astronomer and engineer, The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide is a fascinating and indispensable six-part guide to the Cosmos and the amazing new ways it is being explored.

The OU's Dr Janet Sumner

The OU's Dr Janet Sumner

Will we ever discover what happened in the very instant of creation – the Big Bang? How close are we to finding extraterrestrial life in our own Solar System? How do you make a star?

In these six programmes, made by Screenhouse Productions for The Open Universisy, Adam Hart-Davis and his team visit the spectacular places where the exploration of the Universe is being pushed to new limits. They include the world’s biggest experiment, recreating conditions that existed thousandths of a second after the Big Bang; the place most likely to pick up alien communication; and the biggest telescope in the world, high in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Navigating the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, the series uncovers exactly what we know about the history of our Universe. From the emergence of the first elements to the creation of life on Earth and the possibilities of finding other intelligent life forms somewhere in space, The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide explains the mysteries of the planets, stars and galaxies.

Editor’s Notes

The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide is fully funded by The Open University for the BBC. It is due to broadcast on BBC TWO in July.

Academic consultants for The Open University are Dr David Rothery and Dr Andrew Norton.The series is made by Screenhouse Productions for The Open University, produced and directed by Lousie V Say. The Executive Producer for The Open University and the BBC is Mark Jacobs and the Executive Producer for Screenhouse Productions is Paul Bader.

A book, The Cosmos - A Beginner’s Guide, written by Adam Hart-Davis and Paul Bader will be published by BBC Books on June 21 2007.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for over 30 years providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

All broadcast information is correct at time of issue.

For Pictures or Preview DVDs contact Guy Bailey

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